Defensive end Ray Edwards understood his position in the Vikings' hierarchy. With the team having other priorities -- namely acquiring a veteran quarterback, re-signing wide receiver Sidney Rice, among other things -- Edwards knew he could be a victim of the numbers game. Now all he can do is wait to see what team he will play for this season.
Edwards was one of the beneficiaries -- depending on how you look at it -- of the new labor deal that made him an unrestricted free agent for 2011. He is currently in Los Angeles for a photo shoot for Urban Ink magazine and stopped by the NFL Network studios on Wednesday as part of a publicity campaign.
Not that he needs it.
Edwards, entering his sixth season, figures to be one of the most coveted defensive free agents available who will draw attention from a number of teams. Already, he's being recruited by fans of various teams via Twitter. Though he was quick to point out that he is appreciative of the Twitter courtships, he's ultimately going to pick the team that gives him the best chance to win.
"It's flattering that fans think so highly of you," Edwards said.
But it won't come down to a Twitter competition?
"No, I am looking for the best fit," he said. "the guys who give me the best chance to win on Sunday and willing to do what it takes."
Outside of the rumors that come off NFL Network and other various news outlets, Edwards doesn't know where he will end up. He figures to be a good fit for a team needing a pass rusher, with the Eagles, Browns, Titans, and Falcons being the most often mentioned. The Browns fans, Edwards pointed out, have been the most vocal on Twitter.
Edwards had 16.5 sacks over the last two seasons, the final year in Minnesota being rather eventful considering the Brett Favre saga, the Metrodome roof collapse, and the resulting return of Vikings football to the great outdoors.
"Playing outside was fun to me," Edwards said. "The only drawback was how hard the turf was. But it was great watching the fans throw snow when we scored a touchdown. It looked amazing."
"I will play anywhere, as long as the team is committed to winning."